Best time to visit: mid July to end September
(after the Engadin fairy tale The Thee flowers)
As it became warmer again and the glaciers retreated deep into the mountains, the stones and earth started to appear from under the snow in today’s Upper Engadin valley.
The water gurgled and dripped incessantly, forming up the puddles and the little lakes, gathering into streams and the valley finally became snow-free, became a young river flowing to the Black Sea.
Where the water is pure, make soon their home the water spirits, a lively, playful little ghost creatures. Invisible to us, they live in the clear water; only when we want can we hear their songs, their laughter, their cheerful chatter or sleepy murmurs. They play with everything that creeps and swims in the water, with wind and waves, and they love to be lifted up into the sky by the sun, only to be swept down again in a rapid slide with the raindrops.
Only when cold brought by the winter turns water into ice and rain into snow, hide the little souls inside the frozen ice crystals until they are released from their confinement by warm sun rays.
Where the water souls are, there is also life. So soon the first green sprouts appeared through the debris and it did not take long for the poor soil of the high valley of Upper Engadin to became a magnificent alpine garden, a true jewel on Earth.
With time, some courageous people that were exploring the Alpine passes in the kingdom of the eternal snow discovered this blossoming paradise. Then came the first settlers with bags and tools who dared to live at such an altitude of 1850 meters and higher. And they hacked and ploughed the thin layer of earth, cut down the trees to give their dwellings walls and warmth. They worked hard and steadfast, for they knew that after the short, bright summer came the long, harsh winter that will banish men and beasts inside .
But the harvest was meagre and winters long. Those who survived hunger and illnesses were struck by melancholy for lost loved ones. Only when spring had thawed the earth again could the many dead be buried, and the weeping of those left behind sounded wide through the lonely valley.
One morning a beautiful girl with long golden curls and deep blue eyes knocked at the door of the settlers and said: “I am Flurina and I want to help you so that you can live in this beautiful valley. Your live was full of hardship, but from now on it should be full of joy. Behold, here I give you each a packet of seeds of three magic flowers, sow them and take good care of them. In autumn they will bear seeds, put some of them aside for the next year’s sowing, the rest home.
The golden flowers will keep you away from hunger. When you supply runs out, eat one seed and you will be sated.
The red flower will protect you against the cold. Leave one seed in each room and it will remain warm.
And the blue flower is against the gloom. Wear one of its fruits as a necklace and you will always be joyful.
When she had spoken, she handed over the three small parcels , and before people could ask who she was, before they thank could, before the amazement left them , Flurina had disappeared. But the seed-bearings parcels were in her hands, so all what happened was real ! Miracle or not, people soon began to carefully prepare the soil and saw the seed. And behold, soon it sprouted, soon it bloomed yellow, red, blue. They were strange flowers, never seen before.
In autumn the excitement became great among these people, as they carefully took and stored the fruits of the flowers. Would the promise of Flurina come true? Who was this beautiful girl? An angel? A fairy godmother? Or just a dream?